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Cooking with Quinoa: Turkey Meatloaf Recipe & More!

Steve and Bonnie PfiesterMy husband, Steve, LOVES him some meatloaf! It’s his favorite dish I make. And, for people who really don’t like the texture of meat, it’s a great way to get more protein in your diet when you are sick of chewing on chunks of meat. Even people who enjoy meat get sick of eating chicken sometimes you feel like if you have one more piece of dang chicken, you’ll SCREAM. That’s when it’s time to get your baking dishes out!

I would post more recipes, but the truth is, I rarely follow them. I make stuff up as I go. Monday I made Turkey & Quinoa meatballs and shirataki noodles with a sweet basal and spinach sauce. I have no idea what I put in it because I just added a dash of this, a dash of that and just played around until I liked what I tasted.

However, sometimes I like to follow recipes to get ideas. I rarely follow it to the T. Most of the time I double, triple or quadruple it (you would too if you were married to Steve Pfiester – that boy can EAT! haha). So, here’s the recipe I followed from Lazy LowCal Cookbook by Becky Clark to put Quinoa to the test. Result: SUCCESS!

I doubled this recipe, added a little more kick too it with the fresh jalapenos, and personalized the flavor with some of my favorite spices.

Turkey & Quinoa Meatloaf (from the Lazy LowCal Cookbook)

  • turkey & quinoa meatloaf1lbs Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
  • 1  Onion Diced
  • 7 oz Green Chiles
  • 2 Diced Jalapenos
  • 6 oz Can of Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • Seasonings (I used spices like Chili Pepper, Salt & Stevia to sweeten a little)

Cook your quinoa first, then add it to the rest of the ingredients. Mix it all together, put in your bakeware, and bake on 375 for 90 minutes. If you have your own favorite meatloaf recipe, use Quinoa instead of breadcrumbs. 🙂

LoseIt

loseit recipe builderPeople can normally handle looking up calories for whole foods, but it seems they “Lose It” when they start doing complicated recipes and casseroles. If you use a calorie management app (I like LoseIt) Managing calories from your favorite recipe is easier than you think. Simply add each ingredient (full amount for the whole recipe) into your lose recipe builder (located under More & Edit Foods & Exercises). The total calories will look huge – but remember, you have to set the number of servings for that meal.

So, divide the meatloaf into squares (or simply mark with a knife) when it cools and put the total number of squares in as number of servings to get the number of calories for each piece. It’s better to have smaller squares (and serve more than one piece), than to have large squares. This way you can have “snack-size” pieces that you can easily manage when you count calories. Also try using miniature cupcake pans instead of full baking dishes to make it even easier to serve and manage calories!

10 Servings: 153 calories, 1.4gm fat, 11.7gm carbs, 24.6gm protein, 2gm fiber.
8 Servings: 191 calories, 1.8gm fat, 14.6gm carbs, 30gm protein, 2.5gm fiber.

Turkey Meatloaf Wrap

Turkey Meatloaf WrapWhen I was a little girl, my mom made meatloaf sandwiches with leftover meatloaf. If you like that idea, then take it up a notch and try my healthier version.

  • 1 Healthy Grain Flat Out Wrap
  • Cold Meatloaf
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Lite Mayo
  • Optional Burger style: Add onion, Mustard, Ketchup & pickles and heat the meatloaf

The lettuce adds a nice fresh crunch – and the whole thing stayed with me for several hours. Totally yummy!

Keenwaw

QuinoaI swear, everytime I go to say Quinoa I want to say Kuinoy. Keenwaw is how it is pronounced, and it’s a previously overlooked grain that is gaining popularity, and is a wonderful addition to a healthy meal plan. It was hard to find at the grocery store however. I searched several times before I finally found it. Mine is organic and it came in a bag and it looks like little round seeds. Some people have found it in the grain (rice) section, however, I found it by the flower, corn meal and stuff, in the Greenwise section at our Publix. If you can’t find it, find a grocery employee to help you locate it because I don’t think people really know where it is supposed to go yet. Also check the gluten-free section as a possibility.

Look at the Nutritional comparison between 1/1 cup of cooked quinoa (120 calories) and  1/2 cup of cooked instant long grain rice (180 calories).

quinoa rice2

In this particular brand of white rice, the protein appears to be the same, but if you are counting calories and compared 120 calories of quinoa to 120 calories of rice, the protein would be less for rice (approximately 2.7gms). Not only do you get to eat fewer calories, quinoa has all the essential amino acids, plus lysine which aids tissue repair (great for helping repair muscles). Quinoa is even more nutritious than brown rice, which is pretty darn nutritious.

Want to learn more about Quinoa vs Rice? Check out Brad Gouthro‘s video explanation. Good stuff from a fellow FitFluential Ambassador. 🙂

CLICK HERE for 20 Ways to Cook Quinoa from CookingLight.com

YUM!

7 Ways to Get Food Off Your Mind, and Your Hips!

food for thoughtIn my experience, people don’t have trouble going on a diet – they have trouble sticking to it. It’s just too easy to get side-tracked and tempted. On top of just normal temptations, as soon as we begin a diet, we start obsessing over food. We are constantly thinking of what we can and cannot eat, what we should eat and what we want to eat. I even see people doing cardio watching the food network. Does that really make any sense at all?

I believe people don’t set enough boundaries – not just with food, but with their thoughts. We trust ourselves just a little too much. We put ourselves in stupid compromising situations and then wonder why we fail.

food for thoughtPersonally, I think we think about food way too much. We “allow” our thoughts to explore territory our mouths should never go while dieting. Instead of thinking about our training and new fit bodies, we are dreaming and scheming up ways to create some “healthy” dish we can try to squeeze in our plan so we don’t feel so deprived – but are we really deprived? When was delicious grilled chicken and asparagus an example of being deprived?  When was having abs and feeling great not worth going without pizza? Do you really want to taste pizza more than wear some kick-butt jeans without a muffin top? Let’s put things in to perspective so you can begin succeeding!

Before you explore these tips, first decide whether you are in maintenance or weight loss mode. If you are maintenance, you can be a little less strict – or you can follow these rules during the week, but enjoy a little more freedom on the weekend. If you are in diet mode, then these 7 tips should help you stay on the fast track to success.

7 Practical Diet Tips to Help You Stay On Track

menu1. Stick to a routine. Eating the same foods, like the same one or two breakfasts every day, helps keep dieting simple. The less you have to think about what I should eat, the easier it is to eat healthy. The more variety you have, the more excited your tastebuds will get – and they may want more. If you eat oatmeal every day, I doubt you’ll want to overeat or go back for seconds.

2. Avoid restaurant menus. Should an alcoholic spend time looking through the drink menu? Should they walk the isles of ABC liquor? Of course not! So why should a dieter spend time shopping a menu with pictures of food they shouldn’t eat. All it does is open the windows of our hungry mind. If you must eat out, either make your decision before you even show up to the restaurant, or have someone else help you order if you are tempted to go off plan.

3. Make rules and stick with them. In our house, dinners are always one meat and one green veggie. Period. Since we don’t need carbs to sleep, we save carbs (like a sweet potato) for lunch. Setting rules helps us stay on track. No rules, no boundaries, no success.

food prep4. Prepare your food when you aren’t hungry. We cook a good bulk of our food on Sundays AFTER we eat lunch. When meals are made in advance, all we have to do is heat them up when you get hungry. If you wait to cook when you are hungry, you are more likely to focus on what you want to taste rather than what you need to eat – and you may whip up something higher in calories because you are thinking with your stomach, and not your new fit brain.

5. Rely primarily on whole foods. I love making turkey meatloaf and yummy meals, but Steve can’t control himself around them. So, 75% of our meals are whole foods, and only 25% are multi-ingredient dishes. This gives us just enough variety without sabotaging our diet.

6. Be patient when cooking. Rely on seasoning and slow cooking (like a crock pot or roaster) to boost flavor instead of sauces and added ingredients. Many times we add more calories than necessary simply because we cook too fast and don’t allow seasonings to be absorbed in the food.

Pistachios7. Know what you can and cannot handle. No matter how motivated someone is in the morning, that motivation can be forgotten by the time you are standing in the pantry staring at the nuts at night. If you can’t handle having certain snacks or foods in the house, don’t let them past your front door. Sometimes it’s best to go without than to try to practice self-control (and fail over and over).

Remember, the only way you will be successful is to be honest with yourself. Some people are super disciplined and some people aren’t. Be honest with yourself and set goals accordingly.

Results Taste Better

Whatever your goal is, whether it’s to lose a few pounds or compete (like this chick below), spend more time thinking about your training, and less time thinking about food. If you want abs more than you want ice cream, then put a set of abs on the freezer door to remind you what you want long term. Because, honestly, 10 minutes of pleasure isn’t worth ruining a reward you can enjoy all day every day – because I’m pretty sure this chick is not the least bit upset about the foods she missed out on while she stands fit and proud on stage.

figure competitor

DIET DANGER: Beware of Yummy Low-Cal Food

sad foodOne major misconception is that dieting is boring, tasteless, unfulfilling and borderline torturous. Although we really don’t consider the way we eat “dieting”, but just “eating clean” – it’s more than satisfying and definitely not tasteless or boring. However, sometimes yummy healthy food can be too much for a dieter to handle. So, for some people bland may be better. Here’s why.

Bland is Better

bowl_of_oatmealWhen something tastes great, we want more of it – plain and simple. I don’t care how low-fat, low-cal, high-protein, organic, paleo, it is. If you are trying to lose weight, sometimes it’s best to keep foods a little boring so you don’t overeat. Does this mean you don’t enjoy your food? No. It means, that every single meal doesn’t have to be a celebration on your tongue.

I believe we think WAY too much about what we WANT to eat and what we WANT to taste, when we should be focusing on what kind of fuel our body needs. Since our body needs the same thing day after day, I venture to say there are some components to your eating habits that should remain the same too.

dreaming of foodSadly, when people go on a diet, it’s like they are so fixated on what they are going to be missing, that they spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure out a way to still get what they want, and get the results they want too. Is it possible to eat yummy healthy food and lose weight? YES. Is it harder? YES. So why make it harder on yourself?

Keep It Simple Stupid

Grilled Chicken & asparagusOf course, meals don’t have to be yucky, but they should be simple. It’s hard to mess up whole foods & simple meals, like a meat and green veggie. However, if you start getting too fancy with the cooking, before you know it you have not only added more calories, but you’ll likely eat more of it. That’s two unnecessary obstacles you don’t need if you are trying losing weight.

thinking of foodIn addition to food being too yummy for you to resist seconds, adding too much variety can make tracking calories more difficult. Repetition is easier to manage. When you repeat meals and snacks, there is less chance of missing calories or messing up.

Lastly repetition frees our mind from thinking about food more than we already do. As soon as you start exploring new things, our mind goes WILD. If you want to spend less time thinking about food, stick to what you know so you don’t have to think about it at all.

More Diet Tips:

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